The largest sports integration project involving refugees and migrants in Brazil begins in Porto Alegre this weekend. The so-called Football Refugee Cup involves the participation of 120 amateur players who will represent their respective countries of origin: Angola, Colombia, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Lebanon, Peru, Senegal and Venezuela.
On Saturday (02), the first round of the dispute will be held at the Estádio Passo D’Areia do Esporte Clube São José, starting at 9a.m. The semi-finals and the grand finale of the tournament will be held at the Beira Rio Stadium, Sport Club Internacional, on Sunday (03), at 1p.m. In addition to the games, an employability action is planned, with the registration of resumes of refugees, which will later be sent to industry, commerce and service companies in Rio Grande do Sul.
The winner of the Porto Alegre round will play in the so-called Brazilian Refugee Cup, which will also involve the winners of the regional tournament to be held in São Paulo (in July) and Rio de Janeiro (August), as well as a mixed team of refugees of different nationalities.
The Porto Alegre round of the Refugee Cup is already in its second year and is carried out by the NGO África do Coração, in partnership with the Ponto Social Innovation Agency.
The supporters of the project are: UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency), Porto Alegre City Hall (through the Municipal Department of Social Development and Sport), ASAV (Associação Antônio Vieira), Sport Club Internacional, Beira Rio Stadium Manager, Esporte Clube São José, Gaucho Federation of Soccer, ABACE (Buriti Association of Art, Culture and Sport), Beat Content and Relationship, Matriz Agency, Fuerza Studio, Uniritter and Lebanese Society.
The official sponsor of the Porto Alegre round of the Brazilian Refugee Cup is the SunRice rice brand.
To watch the games in Porto Alegre, the audience will be charged a single ticket in the amount of R$10.00. The funds raised will go to the Tunipiquês project – a social action that will promote free courses on Brazilian language and culture to refugees and migrants, in order to facilitate the insertion of this population in Brazilian society and in the labor market. The expectation is that the audience present in the games surpass the numbers of last year, when three thousand people watched the games.